3 Harmful Foods That Cause Ear Wax

Ever heard of foods that cause ear wax?

Surprised? Don’t be. According to research, there are a lot of foods we consume daily that can be the reason behind our ears producing excessive wax i.e., we consume foods that cause ear wax sometimes unknowingly!

Do you know the primary component of the foods that cause ear wax? It is dietary gluten!

Intrigued to know more and how you can avoid foods that cause ear wax? Keep reading the article till the end then.

foods that cause ear wax
By U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr.Copyright 2021

A. Everything You Need To Know About Ear Wax

Earwax, which is mostly produced by the glands, in the skin, inside the ear, is for the sole purpose of protecting the ear from external damage. Sometimes, your ear wax build might speed up on consuming foods that cause ear wax.

Although the production of ear wax is common for anyone, in some people, the production may be sped up naturally because of some factors – like people who use hearing aids, people who have skin problems or sensitive skin cells, people whose ear canal is shaped as if to resist the natural removal of the accumulated ear wax.

With age, ear wax production is more likely to increase, thus potentially leading to hearing loss. Ear wax is also produced in people who have a lot of hair in their ears.

Also, as stated earlier, gluten, caffeine, or even mere dairy products and other foods that cause ear wax can be the reason behind excessive ear wax built.

1. What controls the ear wax build-up?

Many factors are responsible for your earwax buildup, its color, texture, and even its consistency. One’s environment plays a vital role in cerumen production, as working in dark and grim conditions can lead to you having a darker earwax color as compared to others.

Again, the consistency of the sticky wax may differ based on your ethnicity, as Asians are more likely to have dry wax, whereas people from Africa are more likely to have wet earwax. Diet is also an important control factor of earwax production; some foods increase earwax production, whereas others decrease it. 

2. Why does one suddenly have a lot of earwax?

Suddenly, your ear canal is clogged with a lot of earwax? Your ears are itchy all the time because of that? Thinking about seeking professional help? Know the reasons first.

Besides the consumption of foods that cause earwax, hearing aids and excessive earbud usage can cause a lot of wax formation, leading to an ear blockage in the long run.

foods that cause ear wax
By Mark Paton/Unsplash.Copyright 2021

3. Advantages and disadvantages of earwax build


Ear wax reminds you of something gross and dirty and not at all of something with benefits, right? But, they are the reason your ears are in good condition. Ear wax is a protective layer of wax produced from the glands inside and that protects your ears from any external damage – be it excessive sound or any other unwanted factor, even pollen grains and tiny insects sometimes. Because of the earwax, the inner ear and other parts inside your ear are safe and away from any danger.


Earwax has way more disadvantages than advantages. When produced in enormous amounts and if not cleaned for a long time, Earwax may cause ear blockage. Again, if the earwax is pushed deeper into the ear canal, it may lead to clogged ears. Not only that, but it may also cause dizziness, nausea, infection, and even a ringing sensation in the ears.

4. How can one clean the ear?

Although it may come to you as a surprise, this is indeed true that cleaning your ears with cotton buds is harmful, as it can result in irritation, harm your ears, or even create a blockage, if in any case, the cerumen is pushed deeper into the ears. You should never use ear candles as they may cause casual burns on the outer ear.

Thus, one should seek medical help for removing earwax before it causes further health issues and affects your body or leads to diseases that may cause inflammation.

5. How often should one clean ear and when?

If your cerumen production is normal, you should let your ears do the work through its self-cleaning process and sometimes wipe the outer near surfaces of the ears.

If the ear wax production is more than normal, you need to seek advice and treatment from a doctor. The common symptoms are clogged ears or earache.

B. Foods that cause ear wax

Although, all the food items which are known to cause ear wax don’t cause ear wax – until and unless the foods are excessively rich in gluten or you have gluten intolerance. If you’re a victim of celiac disease, consuming even general food items may cause an increment in ear wax build.

foods that cause ear wax
By Engin Akyurt/Unsplash.Copyright 2021

1. Gluten Products 

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Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash

Food containing gluten tops the list of ‘foods that cause ear wax.’ Any food item which includes gluten can be the reason behind your excessive ear wax formation. Although foods like wheat, barley, rye are known as healthy food items, you should avoid these at all costs if you’re intolerant to gluten.

2. Caffeine

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Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

Although a very rare case, yet one might be intolerant to caffeine as well, and that might be the reason behind excess production of ear wax. As strange as it might sound, you should avoid chocolate as well if you are intolerant to caffeine, as caffeine is also one of the foods that cause earwax.

3. Dairy

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Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

Ear blockage can be caused due to excess cerumen buildup, and you should probably stop the intake of dairy food items, including soy milk!

C. Foods that reduce earwax

Like foods that cause earwax, certain food items actually help you prevent excessive earwax build. Food items that contain high amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamins, and several other healthy minerals, like banana, garlic, broccoli, etc. known to be good for the ears and your hearing health.

However, these foods cannot reduce ear wax build completely. For reducing ear wax build, prevention is the first and foremost prescribed treatment for earwax buildup, the easiest way being less consumption of foods that cause ear wax.

foods that cause ear wax
By Leohoho/Unsplash.Copyright 2021

Other than that, certain food items like fish oil or other animal-based omega-3 supplements, or even Alaskan salmon, can reduce ear wax buildup or slow down the process. 

D. Bottom Line

To have a healthy hearing, proper control of diet is needed, and gluten-free alternatives should be consumed. You should take proper care of your ear and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of ear infections.

Take up foods that reduce cerumen buildup and seek medical help for cleaning your ear once in a while. Even using a cotton bud, you should never push the sticky wax deep into the ear canal. Following all these can help you have a healthy hearing. One should never forget that foods that cause earwax exist, and not altering the diet accordingly can lead to serious problems and infections.


Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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